Greetings & Happy New Year,
Our celebrations here at the monastery are a unique blend of religious and relaxed. Last night we shared a community holy hour to pray for peace. Our hour of silent prayer was marked into quarters by occasions of vocal prayer: a reading to focus our reflection, a chanted Psalm, a reading of St. Francis' peace prayer, and our closing Magnificat and blessing by the Prioress. The silence between these events was powerful for me...our contemplative, silent prayer for peace in our world, nation, state, city, monastery, and hearts seemed all the more intensified as each vocal form of prayer was shared.
This holy hour was followed by an early new year's party in the chapter room. A small group of sisters had prepared egg nog and treats to share as we began our celebration a few hours before 2011 rang-in.
This morning we honored Mary the Mother of God and continued our prayer for peace. Our Divine Office and Mass helped us focus on Mary's path to peace through reflection.
This afternoon, to celebrate the new year, we gathered in the chapter room for treats and games from two to three-thirty! Sisters young and old played and laughed together. There were a few serious tables of pinochle and hand & foot and one table of 'Scrabble' players consulting a dictionary more than needed, but a good time was had by all. The tables near me were joining in games of 'Apples to Apples' and 'Rummy cube', but had a new game. Sister Elementary teacher had received the gift of 'Quirkle'...sort of like domino's but with shapes and colors. We had a marvelous time learning and teaching this new game.
Next? Why Vespers of course...to complete our day of prayerful focus on peace in the world.
Blessings and Happy New Year!